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Atheists/Agnostics: Why?

Discussion in 'Religious Issues' started by arkdweller22, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. English


    Dec 24, 2005
    Within your definition, I am a gnostic atheist. One day we might understand the origin of the universe or of universes, but it is ridiculous to think that the origin was a god because that leads simply to the question of the origin of gods.

    Once created the universe is essentially simple. It provides elements and energy flows that can generate life by random processes. Once in existence, life can evolve into many different forms but those forms are limited by the forms they descend from. This process is summed up by the theory of evolution by natural selection.

    An essential of evolution is competition for the natural resources on which life depends. Different forms of life solve this problem, over a greater or shorter evolutionary time period, by matching their behavior to their physical and reproductive characteristics. These things co-evolve. The competition of evolution occurs within species as well as between species.

    Game theory shows us that co-operative behaviors can increase the overall efficiency of resource utilization and competitive success. In essence, different species arrive at different solutions to this game theory problem since their ecological adaptation and physical capabilities are far more complex than the game theory models.

    Within game theory and other studies such as organization and methods there is a concept of ruggedness. What that means in this context is that the solution works well over some range from its optimum. That is, its graph would have a shallow curve passing through the optimum and falling slowly to either side rather than being pointed. With a rugged solution to the survival problem a species can survive quite a large range of variation to either side of the optimum.

    Because of this, humanity can survive the damaging effects of religion, offset by some beneficial effects, just as it can survive other irrational ideas.

    In fact, religion has been a common theme of humanity throughout history and most probably for a far longer time than that even though rationally and logically it must be considered nonsensical. The problem to a thinking atheist then becomes one of of finding a rational substitute for religion. How should we behave to maximize our survival solution?

    The basis of the answer to that question comes from the statements above. That is, it must contain both co-operation and competition. Life is not a kind process but one in which winners survive and losers do not. That is the inescapable nature of evolution by natural selection and it applies as much to behavior as it does to resistance to disease, physical strength or stamina, intelligence, sexual attraction and so on. It means we must be able to identify those with whom we co-operate and those with whom we compete. We must differentiate those with whom we compete on an amicable basis from those with whom we are deadly enemies. We must then behave accordingly and in a rational manner.

    In summary, the universe exists for reasons we might or might not come to understand but it has no meaning as such. Life too has no meaning as such - it exists because the nature of the universe makes it possible. It takes the multitude of forms that it does because evolution by natural selection makes tat not only possible but inescapable. Our ethical and moral systems grow from the nature of our individual species as part of the survival solution of the species. In as much as life can be said to have any meaning it is self referential. It has meaning only within the imperatives of its own existence and continued existence. The equivalent survival solutions of other species are distinct from ours and there is no universal solution any more than there is only one form of life.

  2. Geko45

    Geko45 Smartass Pilot CLM

    Nov 1, 2002
    I'm taking a game theory class right now in grad school. Fascinating stuff.

  3. nmk


    Apr 25, 2007
    You disagree, but you remain civil and respectful?

    I like this guy.
  4. DonCT


    Oct 30, 2004
    But with limitless possibilities.
  5. arkdweller22

    arkdweller22 Cuhootnified

    Dec 26, 2008
    Interesting post. I truncated it for the sake of brevity.
    I enjoyed reading your perspective and reasoning, obviously you've given this some serious thought.
    Although you basically stated the same thing that others did, essentially: "there is no purpose to the universe", it was not anti-climactic. :supergrin:


    ETA: I meant no offense to others who posted that they feel the universe has no purpose. I just found English's explanation to be very thorough.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  6. Syclone0538


    May 7, 2013
    I also think it is extremely unlikely that there is a purpose.

    There is a "how", if that's what you mean when you say "why". I don't know the answer to it, but think it is knowable.

    Let's just say I don't completely agree and leave it at that. :supergrin:
  7. arkdweller22

    arkdweller22 Cuhootnified

    Dec 26, 2008
    I try, don't always succeed, but I try. :wavey:
  8. arkdweller22

    arkdweller22 Cuhootnified

    Dec 26, 2008
    Thanks for humoring me.
  9. Comrade Bork

    Comrade Bork

    May 1, 2001
    I'd like to believe that there is a God.

    However, I find evidence of the actual existence of any God to be suspiciously lacking.

    I believe that mankind invented "religion" to fulfill the functions of what we now tend to think of as "Government".

    A structure whereby the great mass of people within a society agree to be led by a, pretty much self-appointed, minority.

    Religion, in turn, invented the concept of "God" as a "justification" for the obidience and wealth that they demand from the masses "beneath" them.

    In the modern era, we have based "Government" on a document, the Constitution, that we agree to abide by, thereby making the "authority" of "God" obsolete for the purpose for which it was invented.

    This does not stop varoious Shamans, within various religions, from continuing to demand the time, treasure, blood, and very lives be sacrificed up to them by the gullible mass of "faithful" who continue to have "faith".

    Remember, 9/11/01 was an attempt by the fanatical practitioners of one particular religion, Islam, to reverse the western tendency to split "religion" and "government". :steamed:

    They believe it to be their Allah-directed duty to do so.

    In the meantime, in nations with secular governments, Religion continues to be just a scam whose only purpose is to secure the time and wealth of those dumb enough to contribute same to the Shamans within the Religion.

    If it kills us all!
  10. TK-421


    Oct 12, 2012
    Pflugerville, TX
    "To ******* as much as possible."
    - "Becky"
    Clerks II

    Any other questions?
  11. Trew2Life

    Trew2Life #intheflesh

    Aug 31, 2012
    terra nullius
    3. Gnostic Atheist: You believe that there is no god and feel that the evidence points overwhelmingly to this conclusion.

    Why does the universe need a purpose other than to exist? I am not so arrogant as to believe the universe exist for me or I for it. Everything that will ever exist in the universe already exist in the universe.
  12. Given that I don't accept that the universe (or humans) were created, I don't accept that there is an answer to "why".

    However, at a biological level our purpose is obviously survival and reproduction.

    Additionally, I look at it this way. We only get one shot at life. There is no "after". I accept that everybody that I love, know, and encounter will one day lose everything and everybody that they now love. Recognizing that, I strive to do what I can to maximize the happiness and minimize the suffering of others.

    I have found happiness in my life. To strive to deny others happiness in the absence of a victim is selfish and petty.

    Stephen Covey had a gift for distilling wisdom into few words, so I'll leave you with these six:

    "Live, love, laugh, leave a legacy."
  13. Agreed. People should check out Scale of the Universe and slowly drag the slider all the way to the right for a little perspective.
  14. DonCT


    Oct 30, 2004
    What amazes me is that from our little rock in space we are able to learn so much about the universe. It really is staggering.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  15. GreenDrake

    GreenDrake Rip Lips

    Apr 22, 2007
    North Idaho
    That question is probably one of the base justifications for the invention of religion...we don't know, so god did it. There does not have to be a reason, the argument that there does defies basis for a logical argument.

    But that won't stop the peddlers from telling you their team is the winning team and the others are taking a beach vacation to the lake of fire. It amazes me how some zealots function as normal people and still eat up the fairy tales.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  16. NMG26


    Jul 24, 2010
    Totally missed that about you..........I need to pay more attention.

  17. I am an agnostic, and as a good born again Christian friend of mine once said, that means I'm ignorant. Yes, I said to her, that sums it up nicely.

    Is there a god? I don't know.

    I also like to say that the natural (science) knows nothing about the supernatural (religion). So, I do not believe the atheist view that there is no god. They have no way of knowing.

    Nor do I believe the religious view that there is a god. They have no way of knowing, either. Although I do appreciate how powerful their faith is, that they might believe they know. However I'm also skeptical of religious people who lead others toward hate by justifying it with beliefs they make up.

    What I will say is that god might exist. Perhaps a good god that wants good things for people. That is reason enough to try and be a good person.

    And if god doesn't exist, being a good person probably is still a good idea.

    I joined the NRA, have you yet?
  18. Woofie

    Woofie Disirregardless CLM

    Apr 10, 2007
    You believe you've never seen him there.
  19. robbcayman


    Apr 19, 2008
    So Cal
    Why does there have to be a purpose? What if things just happen and are... could you accept that?